chocolate overnight oats

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Breakfast has been a broken record of eggs, vegi sausage, toaster waffles and yogurt lately. In a desperate attempt to derail that boring cycle, I went searching Pinterest for some easy recipes and landed on overnight oats. I used this recipe as a starting point then improvised with what I had in my kitchen. We’ve been enjoying these cups all week and I feel like they are a total triumph over our boring breakfast standards.

What You Need || 

1 cup gluten free rolled oats

1 cup coconut milk

3 large strawberries, chopped

1 tbsp cocoa powder

sprinkle of chai seeds

sprinkle of flax seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp maple syrup

blueberries

1 chopped banana

coconut shavings

What You Do ||

1. Combine oats, coconut milk, strawberries, blueberries, chai seeds, flax seeds, vanilla extract, maple syrup and blueberries in a large bowl. Stir until completely mixed.

2. Half fill a few pint sized mason jars with mixture (mine filled three jars)

3. Chill overnight

4. Stir and add banana and coconut as a toppings

16/52 || coconut sugar chocolate chip cookies

DSC_1325“M, once a week, every week, in 2014″

Any time M can help cook, she’s ecstatic (even though she looks pretty darn serious about it in this picture). Her favorite part of helping is the  ‘stir, stir, stirring’. Plain flour, nothing mixed yet. Whatever. Stir, Stir, Stir . Anyway, it’s about the cutest, messiest and slow moving thing you can think of. A dash of patience is always required on my part when she’s helping but she loves it so much, you just can’t refuse her.

One of the easiest things to let her add a little magic to is cookies. After watching an episode of Dr. Oz a few months ago, we switched to making our chocolate chip cookies with coconut sugar. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the good doctor but I don’t always take my cooking tips from him. I don’t know why, something about this whole coconut sugar thing just made sense. Well that, and the fact that the day after watching this episode, I stumbled on the coconut sugar display at Trader Joes. As far as I can tell, the biggest difference with the sugar switch is the color of the cookies. They turn out a bit darker due to the deep brown color of the sugar. But, let’s be honest, who cares about that. Right?

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What You Need || 

2/14 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1 cup butter softened, 3/4 cup coconut sugar, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs, 2 cups chocolate chips

What You Do || 

Preheat oven to 375, combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Add butter, coconut sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in your mixer and beat until creamy. Add your dry ingredient mix. Beat again until fully mixed. (I add about 6 spoonfuls of dough to my cookie sheet for M at this point. No chocolate chips for her!) Add chocolate chips.

Place mix on cookie sheets by the spoonful.

Bake for 9-11 min.

Enjoy!

Melissa

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Fall Oatmeal

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I don’t know how it happened but the first day of school hit and so did fall like weather around here. It has me craving all things pumpkin and a warm coffee in my hands. Only thing is, I tend to dump chocolate into any pastry I make {pumpkin chocolate chip muffins yesterday} so I try not to share those with M. And yesterday, when she woke up with a stuffy nose, I thought she should be able to share in the fall comfort flavors. So, pumpkin spiced oatmeal was born.

First I tried adding just Pumpkin Pie Spice but it didn’t have the flavor kick I was looking for. So, I also added the spices I had used in my muffins.

|| Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal ||

Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal

Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Dash of Nutmeg

Dash of Ground Cloves

A little more then a dash of Cinnamon

Splash of Vanilla Coconut Milk

Topped with Craisins

1. Cook Oatmeal according to package instructions (on stovetop with boiling water)

2. Once oatmeal has been added to the water on stovetop, add spices

3. Let water boil out and place oatmeal in a serving cup

4. Add a splash of Vanilla Coconut Milk to taste

5. Top with Craisins

6. Let cool before serving to toddler

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Enjoy!

Melissa

M’s Plate || ‘Green’ Smoothie

Green Smoothie

So, we went to our new easy little lunch and play place today and as I was paying the entrance fee, they informed me that my debit card wouldn’t work. You know that feeling of ‘i know i have money in that account’ ‘wait, i have money in that account right?’ ‘oh, god. someone has stolen my card number’? Then, after the panic, I remembered that last night, I let M unload my entire purse and she proceeded to check out each card and give them each a good rub on the hardwood floor. So, the question now is, ‘I wonder which card is next up in the ‘not going to work’ department?’.

Either way, we ate our little meal and got to playing and on the way home I practically had to steer the car with sheer will power away from the espresso stand and home for a healthier snack. Since I was clearly craving a drink, I went with a smoothie for our afternoon treat. I’m lucky in the way that if something is the least bit sweet, M will gobble it down. So, the key to smoothie making with her is to include a little fruit {and to put it in her favorite cup}.

I found this  smoothie recipe  while signing up for my favorite workout a few weeks ago {We’ll talk about Barre 3 one day. Have you been? If not, go!} and I just modified it a little to fit what I had available in my refrigerator.

|| ‘Green’ Smoothie ||

1/4 Beet – Peeled

8 oz. Unsweetened Coconut Milk

8 oz. Water

1 Cup Frozen Strawberries

1 Cup Kale

1/2 Cup Spinach

2 Chopped Celery Stalks

1/4 Orange – Peeled

Blend and Serve

Enjoy! Melissa

What’s On M’s Plate || Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast

Yea. Haven’t seen this in a while have ya’? Well, it’s because I sometimes feel so unqualified to show or tell you about things that come out of my kitchen. I am no master chef. In fact, before M came around, I was more of a ‘whatever comes out of box’ {and I might even burn that} type of cook. But, for her, I try to maintain a well balanced diet and even put the pots and pans to use on a daily basis now. So, whatever, I’m going to show you what this girl munches on because I spend a ton of time making it and damn it, I tried!

|| Open Faced Breakfast Sandwich||

Half a Wheat Sandwich Thin

One Egg

One Slice of Cheese

One Slice of Tomato {hiding under the egg}

A few Avocado Slices {again, under the egg}

One Vegetarian Morning Star Sausage

*Served cut into small pieces with a small dish of blueberries on the side.

Enjoy! Melissa

What’s On M’s Plate

TurkeyScramble

M is days away from turning one and not only can I not believe it but I can also see her palate changing. She knows what she likes now and picks through her meals eating mounds of the goods she wants and leaving behind entire plates of broccoli or green beans. {See a trend here? Something about green food isn’t doing it for her lately. Starting to sound like a toddler. Ahhhh!} But, this lunch was a hit a few days ago. I think the colors tricked her into eating her veggies!

|| Turkey Scrabble ||

Fully Cooked Ground Turkey

Steamed and Diced Squash

Steamed and Diced Zucchini

 A Sprinkle of Cheese

Served with Cooked Pears for Dessert

Enjoy! Melissa

Just Saying: Refreshed

LemonLime

Sparkling Water. Before I was pregnant, I hated it. Why add bubbles to perfectly good water? Then, when I was expecting Little M’s arrival, I suddenly started to find myself drinking it regularly. {Hey, it’s better then peanut butter and pickles! Right?} It was my go-to when all my not knocked up friends were drinking at dinner or when a glass of wine sounded good.

And, now that the sun is showing it’s beautiful face a little more, I’ve been reminded of this sparkling deliciousness again. The only way to do it is to add both a lemon AND a lime. Any waiter will roll their eyes at your annoying order but it’s worth it! And, if you are quenching your thirst at home, squeeze both the lemon and lime wedge into your cup before adding the ice. I promise, it’s so refreshing you won’t regret it.

Enjoy! Melissa

What’s On M’s Plate

Baked Sweet Poato

I whipped up this meal for Little M a few days ago and she loved it. Not even kidding, she basically went on a crumb expedition when I announced it was, “all gone.” Again, I’m not a gourmet chef {not even a home chef} or a nutritionist, but it’s been on heavy rotation in our house so I thought I would share it.

|| Baked Sweet Potato ||

1/4 of a large sweet potato baked for 40 minutes at 400

Topped with cooked zucchini and tofu, a sprinkle of cheese and a dash of plain yogurt

Served with a baked plum on the side

And in the mean time, I’ve never understood why people ‘hate’ the dentist. For 28 years, I have been going regularly and loving it. You get to lay back, leave with squeaky clean teeth and, when I was younger, pick a prize from the giant tooth shaped bin on your way out. Well now I understand, folks. My first cavity lead to my first tooth pain which led to my first filling yesterday.

That sucked! What in the world is that giant contraption that they basically try to suffocate you with? And why did I have to feel like my face was about three feet wide when I left? Or what about how half my mouth was so numb I’m pretty sure I put chapstick on my entire face?

So, I’ll never think ‘what a baby’ again when someone tells me that they don’t like the dentist. I get it. Don’t worry.

Enjoy! Melissa

Just Saying || Breakfast Date

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Passing Ships. Sometimes, I joke with Ky that we are passing ships on a busy day. I’m with M all day then, if I have plans {which, lets be serious, I will do anything to avoid exercising so I just don’t mention it and stay home most nights} , I get to see him for about an hour once he gets home and run out only to come home to a sleeping household. Yesterday was one of those days.

So, we decided to have a breakfast date this morning. Just saying, this was a great idea. Even though I had to pry myself out of bed a little earlier then normal {notice the wrinkly, slept in pajamas}, it was totally worth it. We didn’t eat anything fancy but it was nice to spend a few early morning minutes making plans for the rest of the week and having coffee together. Quick, simple and comforting.

Now, time to actually shower so as not to scare people throughout the day!

Enjoy! Melissa

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What’s On M’s Plate + Other Randomness

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It’s Wednesday! Lets be honest, Monday and Tuesday took their sweet time moving on. No idea what’s up with me but my patience is about as thin as it gets. So, yay, I made it through Monday and Tuesday. Lets just say ,that’s an accomplishment this week.

To celebrate, I told myself I could watch my guilty pleasure Kardashians tonight and I think it might be turning my brain to mush. I have the most random things running through my head.

1. Yesterday, I was sitting next to M while she ate her well balanced lunch and I noticed that I was on my second ‘I deserve this’ brownie of the day. When do you have to start leading by example in your food choices? Because, I’m kinda’ into my pat on the back brownie and not so excited to eat peas for lunch. I mean, she had mango for desert, isn’t that close enough to a brownie?

2. Ugh, the Freshly Picked mocs that Mason wears just slay me. Keep dreaming M. I’ll finally give in and get them one day.

3. Where is the best place to print a file? I am working on putting together Little M’s first birthday invitations {Lets not even talk about how this celebration is so surreal. People keep saying, ‘wow, didn’t that go fast’ and my answer is always, ‘some days really flew by.’} and I just don’t have patience for these printing places. Take my file, print it, make it look nice. I just can’t be responsible to understand paper weights. Lets just go with whatever the standard weight for a first birthday announcement is. Done!

4. How is it spring in part of the country and dumping snow in other parts. This just isn’t fair. Imagine watching the news showing 80 degree NYC while snow falls outside your window. Puke!

5. We are going on vacation in 20 days. I am trying so {so, so} hard not to think about it for many reasons. I don’t want to amp up a palm trees and sunshine trip because I just have a sneaky feeling that I will be seeing less of both now that we will have a baby on vaca with us. And, it makes me feel like the snow people {puke} when I think about that weather then look outside here.But seriously, can’t freakin’ wait. Just picture it…..little baby feet in the sand, no long sleeves so you can see the baby rolls, pool toys and sandals. Can not wait!

6. I am strangely excited for the sewing class I am taking tonight. I don’t own a sewing machine but soon, I should know how to operate one. Also, when I signed up they said you make a little something in the class. I’m secretly hoping it’s similar to the stuffed frog we made in home ec. in high school.

7. Do we have any more brownies?

Enjoy! Melissa